Conor Maynard is super suave in this new photo shoot taken exclusively for JustJared.com.
JJ sat down with Conor to chat about his album, collaborating with other artists, plans for a tour, and how he will spend his 21st birthday later this year.
JJ: Congratulations on the release of Contrast! What does it feel like to finally have it out?
Conor Maynard: It’s crazy! I feel like, for me, not very long ago I felt like I wasn’t ready at all for it to come out. I was like no way, push it back, I’m not ready, hide! So now that the album is actually out and I’m doing things like David Letterman, Good Morning America, all of this amazing things – it’s crazy. It definitely feels like everyone is going for it.
JJ: There are some really awesome collaborations on Contrast – who was your favorite?
CM: For me, working with people like Pharrell, Frank Ocean, and Ne-Yo was kind of crazy. They are people I really look up to. Pharrell, I’ve been listening to his stuff with Justin Timberlake and N.E.R.D. for years. So when he contacted me I literally freaked out. I couldn’t believe it! He actually contacted me thinking I wasn’t signed, he didn’t know I was signed yet, so he contacted me before I released anything. When I started recording my album. Funny enough though, he contacted my label to ask if I was signed. They were like, ‘Well, you contacted his label, so yeah… I’d say he’s signed.’ So he was like, ‘Can I work with him anyway?’ So then I went to the studio and worked with him, and that was definitely one of the highlights.
JJ: If you could pick anyone to write or record a song with in the future, who would it be?
CM: I really feel like I would go with people who are more like singer-songwriter people. Kind of like Ed Sheeran – I’m a massive fan of him! John Mayer, as well. People who are slightly different from what I’m doing right now. I feel like going more for an acoustic kind of vibe would be really cool to try and do.
JJ: What would be your dream tour if you had your pick of tour mates?
CM: My band! I love touring with my band. Touring with my band is the funnest thing. We always have the biggest laugh whether it be my UK band or my American band, we just have a massive laugh.
JJ: Where do you want to be five years from now?
CM: Twenty-five. No, that was really sad. [laughs] I don’t know really, for me I’m like, I’m always looking for that next goal, that next ambition. When everyone was celebrating in the UK because my album went to number one, that was crazy. But for me I was like, I want my album to go number one worldwide now. It was always like, what’s the next thing I can reach? If I get a number one album worldwide, then I want my second album to go number one worldwide too. I want to continue the success. So for me I’m always looking for what’s next. In five years time I just want to still be very ambitious and very driven to keep going.
JJ: Are you writing for your next album yet?
CM: Yeah! I’ve been in the studio, I’ve been working on new music. I feel like I don’t want to leave a gap. I want to kind of push into people’s minds exactly what I’m about. At the moment it’s kind of weird because it’s so delayed. You see, my album came out in the UK in July and it came out in America… now. [laughs] It’s kind of half a year, so now I want to keep pushing so it all comes out of the same time and everyone can enjoy it at the same time.
JJ: In October while talking about your single “Vegas Girl” you said you actually hadn’t been to Vegas before. Have you made it there yet?
CM: I still haven’t! I feel like going to Vegas while I’m under 21 would be the biggest waste of time ever.
JJ: So are there big plans for a 21st birthday in Vegas then?
CM: That’s so funny you asked that because that is my plan! But, hopefully everyone goes and buys the album so that if I’m completely ballin’ by then and I can take all of my friends, that’ll be even better! So if no one buys the album I’ll have the worst 21st birthday ever… hashtag: just saying! [laughs]
JJ: Your fans are called ‘Mayniacs’ – did you give them that nickname?
CM: I did. I kind of saw that all big acts were naming their fans and I was like right, I better think of a name for my fans. I better have a name for them so they can feel they have something to go with them as well. So I went to Twitter and was like, what do you guys want to be called? All these stupid ideas came through, and it ended up being between the Mayniacs and the Condoms. That was the other idea: The Conor Con-doms. So, yeah, I went with the Mayniacs. [laughs] I didn’t feel like walking out into a venue and being like, “What’s up condoms?!”